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Jerez Day One - Pizzonia leads 13 Oct 2004

Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) Williams BMW FW26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 27 August 2004

Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia set the pace at Jerez on Tuesday, as six of the Formula One teams returned to the track for the final test session of the 2004 season.

Pizzonia, back in the cockpit after missing the last test with an ankle injury, put in 100 laps of the Spanish circuit on his way to a best time of 1m 17.055s. His programme included brake and systems checks, as well as general set-up and tyre work.

Franck Montagny was the quicker of two Renault drivers present, around two tenths down on Pizzonia. Fellow tester, Finn Heikki Kovalainen, was fourth fastest, splitting the McLarens of Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz.

Toyota’s Ricardo Zonta, due to race in Brazil after giving his seat to Jarno Trulli in Japan, was sixth in the times. Joining him at the Japanese team was Toyota Drivers Academy member Franck Perera. The Frenchman, rookie of the year in this season’s Formula Three Euroseries, finished around a second behind the Brazilian on his Formula One debut.

BAR had a single car on track, with Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi again testing for the Honda-powered team, the former Arrows star working on an aerodynamics and engine programme. Jaguar’s Bjorn Wirdheim completed the Tuesday line-up.

Testing continues at Jerez on Wednesday.

Unofficial Tuesday times from Jerez:
1. Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (Michelin), 1:17.055
2. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:17.288
3. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.153
4. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:18.169
5. Alexander Wurz, McLaren (Michelin), 1:18.527
6. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:18.540
7. Enrique Bernoldi, BAR (Michelin), 1:18.607
8. Franck Perera, Toyota (Michelin), 1:19.695
9. Bjorn Wirdheim, Jaguar (Michelin), 1:20.033